Frack your government

Let the fracking commence!

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Max Stirner is winning the staring competition

On a crisp autumn afternoon I make my way through a graveyard that is of special importance to me. Various memorials line its uneven paths, punctuated by the occasional ancient mausoleum to a long dead aristocrat or member of the bourgeoisie. Chipped angels and cracked crowns smack of desperate attempts at permanence, but are already sullied by the ravages of entropy.

The memorials tell a tale as rich and as varied as the tumultuous history of the city itself. This is the Sophiengemeinde in Berlin, a cemetery named in memory of the mad third wife of King Frederik I of Prussia, and one that bears the permanent scar of ideological struggle. Upon construction of the Berlin Wall, this peaceful world was split in half: the local church remained in West Berlin, but its accompanying cemetery was taken into the East.  Continue reading

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Thomas Hitzlsperger and the Humanist Project

Continuing the theme of my previous post referencing Bob Black’s attack on Humanism and in light of the news that retired German international soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger has ‘come out’, I found a statement by him in relation to this to be very interesting and worthy of investigation.

In an article published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday 9th January, Hitzlsperger is quoted as stating the following:

“Every human being should be able to live without fear of discrimination due to his or her background, skin colour, sexual orientation or religion. I do not see this as a political statement, but as a self-evident fact.”

This statement is extremely interesting as it says something fundamental about the emancipatory project of humanism and the insurmountable contradictions within it which derive from its universalism.

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Bob Black: Debunking Human Rights

At a fairly recent engagement at The Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley, California, Anarchist writer Bob Black discussed the impracticalities of  the language of rights and the downright absurdity of the concept in  itself.

Bob Black is perhaps most notable for the essay The Abolition of Work and Anarchy After Leftism, both of which I wholeheartedly recommend reading.

The talk was captured on video and may be viewed below:

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There Will Be Blut

In the gardens of the University of Münster there stands a monument that commemorates the German soldiers who fought in the First World War. Atop it stands a stone carving of a German soldier, head encased in stahlnhelm and body clothed by uniform and trench coat. Clutched tightly in the soldier’s hands is a long sword facing downwards, giving an impression of firm resolve. On the foundation plinth, a second, later plaque has also been affixed that refers to the actions of 26th Armoured Division in the Second World War.

Across the monument is daubed the word BLUT (blood) in crimson red.

In any other country, the daubing of the word upon such a monument would be met with mass outcry, an immediate clean-up campaign, and a public propaganda program to reaffirm the respect “the nation” holds for the military and its sacrificial dead. This however is Germany, the exception to the rule of reaction, where the nation state is obliged to beat itself before it beats its drum. Upon closer inspection of the paint, it appears that it is aged, the act of daubing committed many years ago. Here we see social acceptance of the act; the BLUT is not officially perceived as an act of vandalism, but rather an essential part of the monument itself: a third, postmodern plaque that has been added to the piece. It is the pretence of penance required, a social flagellation for the sins of the state’s past. It’s even possible to imagine that there might be a public outcry should the denizens of the city wake up to find the BLUT scrubbed away.   Continue reading

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Genealogical Guff


This is probably not you.

The sheer lunacy that develops demand for products which markets always oblige to provide for always astounds me. The sense of emptiness and desperation which feeds that lunacy always leads me to despair. With the development of various technologies, newer and ever shinier products are revealed, paraded as exciting answers to whatever negatives ail the mind and body of the committed consumer.

One of the latest trends in consumable high-technology is that of genealogical testing and all that it claims to reveal. It is claimed that such testing will –for a price – enable the consumer to discover his or her ‘origins’, with origins being defined as the arbitrary genealogical category ascribed to an historical racial/cultural grouping.

“Are you a Viking?” asks iGenea, one company among many currently profiting from the genealogy boom. Ignoring the overall impossibility of someone being a noun, the question reveals so much about the surging interest in genealogy. The contemporary (read: ignorant and lazy) view of historical groups such as the Vikings is that they were all rumbustious rampaging ruffians who raped their way across Northern and Western Europe, slaughtering the males of other groups whilst planting their rugged seed into the wombs of (mostly) unwilling women. This ignorant, universalising and essentialist imagery – however based partially upon historical record – is ultimately exciting and therein is the crux of consumer interest in all of this. The lives that the majority of people lead today are boring, monotonous and depressing. By contrast, the imagined lives of these ancient peoples are far more thrilling and enriching. To search for a link to a past perceived as being authentic and thrilling is an action influenced by the static, standardised and sterilised state of modern ‘life’ which in turn creates this industry for reified genetics. Continue reading

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The Placebo of Simulacra

ImageAt some point, everyone experiences difficulty, an issue at hand, a struggle which they hope to overcome. These struggles are as varied as the stars, and may take the best part of one’s life to play out; many will not succeed. One of the greatest struggles facing so many people today is developing nurturing, fruitful relationships grounded upon honesty and mutual respect. Such enriching associations have become increasingly rare as life itself has become almost absolutely commoditised into a one-size-fits-all, third-party-designed, constructed mush that calls itself ‘community’, while actually choking the roots of the older, organic communities that grew out of the mutual aid that characterises so much of nature. As the broad mass of people they have become dependent upon faceless, apparitional institutions called states (or, to use their more ancient, monstrous name: Leviathans), they no longer need to relate to others in order to be given their daily bread or to have their trespasses forgiven.

The desire to relate and create real communities has not wholly dissipated but instead continues to rumble underneath the concrete of constructed relations. But the desire is rarely – if ever – manifested in a rationally-chosen act that leads to real emancipation. Why?  Continue reading

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